Black Black Point, Rainbow, Blue Star, Yellow Lady — Sandy the Morning After.

Our house is about four miles from the beach. The morning after Sandy visited, we woke at first light, to find that the roar of the surf was still intense. Unable to resist a trip to go see, we decked ourselves out in inherited yellow foul weather gear, and headed for Black Point Beach.

There was relatively little tree damage to be seen on our way there. Hurricane Bob’s major weeding of weak trees was twenty-one years ago.  After that high-velocity culling, most Vineyard trees remain relatively sound. Sandy’s winds were strong, but Bob’s winds were stronger. Sandy’s force was not as strong as it might have been, for she made landfall in New Jersey, hundreds of miles away. We are lucky that the storm made that westward turn.

New York and Jersey were not so lucky.

The Black Point Beach Parking lot was still full of water. (Littoraly.)

Black Point Beach Parking lot, the morning “after” Sandy.

We splashed through the shallows, marveling at the thousands of drowned earthworms among the drowned blades of grass. The worms have died. What else will have met death from this storm? The salt water immersion of acres of this low ground will surely do something to the flora down here, but what will that be? Many of the plants are already asleep for the winter. If there’s enough rain over the the cold months, maybe enough salt will leach from the root zone to mitigate the effects of this saline immersion. We must wait until spring to see.

We waded down the normally dry path, in steadily deepening water. We soon realized that to reach the beach, we’d have to travel through depths that would overtop our boots. After a brief hesitation, we reached, then passed, the “what the heck” moment. We sloshed on. Our boots were of neoprene foam, so the water that poured into our footwear soon warmed to body temperature. Except for wetness, our feet were as warm as before.

Taken just before the “what the heck” moment, the Lady in Yellow was skirting the edge of the path, seeking shoal water.

We walked, a yellow-clad pair, down the walkway.

Then we saw, in the western sky, a sign.

It was same sign that God is said to have sent, in a moment of post-diluvian charity, to Noah and his arkful of duos, newly grounded atop Ararat,.

The rainbow. Island artist Thaw Malin just completed one of his little “one a day” paintings, of a scene much like this. When this picture was taken, he hadn’t seen my photo and I hadn’t seen his painting. Go to to see our synchronistic rainbows, and his other works, as well.

The night’s waves and storm surge had eroded tons of sand, cubic yards of sand, and moved it elsewhere.

The Lady in Yellow, in the path across the dunes. A day before, in the same location, she’d have been buried over waist deep in sand. Notice all the dune grass roots. exposed by the rushing water of the night before.

We turned to look inland from our wave-washed Ararat. Water lay in all the low ground, making the usually discrete chain of ponds on our south shore into an almost continuous body of water. Clouds of swallows soared among the islands of bushes, plucking their morning meal from the humid air.

We still have swallows here, and it’s early November. Remarkable. There was a remarkable bird sighting in Menemsha this day. A brown pelican. That’s a bird that seldom visits the Island. What a sight to see, from the bench at Squid Row.

Just inland of the dunes was an astral washashore.

A star is fallen.

We took a final look around. The water was still high, the waves were magnificent and terrible.

Look to the East.

The dawn was loud, windy, and bright.

We left for home, full of energy and hope.

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